So many of us have tried and failed at weight loss. I know in the past when I have tried to lose weight, it often backfired. Yep, I would actually gain weight while trying to lose it. Nothing feels more defeating than that, let me tell you.
I finally figured out that dieting simply doesn’t work. Then I started wondering why. Being a nutritionist and weight loss expert, as well as a wellness coach led me to some pretty interesting answers.
* Deprivation leads to bingeing
* Calorie restriction leads to a sluggish metabolism, followed by weight gain
* Artificial sweeteners lead to excessive hunger
* Over-exercising results in inflammation and weight gain.
* Cutting out entire food groups (grains or fats usually) causes nutrient deficiencies and cravings
When you have a diet plan that asks you to restrict your calories, you feel deprived. If you are rebellious, like I am, when someone tells me I can’t have something I want it even more!
Some experts think nutritional deficiencies lead to cravings and binge eating. I suggest a whole food vitamin and mineral supplement for "insurance."
So what constitutes a good all-around diet, one for a life-time, not just a quick fix to get off excess pounds? Here’s my take on that question.
- Eat the rainbow everyday. This means you will be eating lots of vegetables and fruits. If you are diabetic, limit fruit to 3 or less a day to avoid excess blood sugar spikes
- When eating grains, make them whole grains without flour. Steel-cut oats are a favorite. Ezekiel bread, made with sprouted grains is another I recommend to clients.
- Fats are important, so be sure to get those everyday. Fatty fish like sardines or salmon are good choices. So is avocado. Coconut oil is no longer considered a bad fat, due to its chemical composition. Lose your fear of eggs, the fat they contain is healthy too. Nuts are full of healthy fat and can be eaten for quick snacks.
- Protein is important, so eat it regularly throughout the day. Our body doesn’t store protein. It is used for repair or converted into sugar or fat for energy. Small portions throughout the day keeps us happy.
- Exercise in moderation utilizing walking, strength training and stretching. Allow time to build up to a level of fitness that’s right for you. Avoid injuries by learning proper form.
Overall, the best thing you can do if you want to stay at a healthy weight is to find a plan that works for you as a lifestyle, not a simple fix.
Sandi Thompson, BA, NTP and certified wellness coach is an expert in weight management education. Studying holistic health and nutrition since the early 1980s she motivates and coaches participants in her programs toward excellent health. For more than 30 years, she has modeled nutritional excellence and taught real food skills to hundreds of eager participants. Her greatest successes are with women 50 + who struggle to lose weight.